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31 jan 2024

Artificial Intelligence in the Industrial Environment: Opportunities and Applications

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Artificial Intelligence is seen as the "technology that defines the future". We live in a time of technological innovation that significantly impacts the industry, changing production patterns and opening doors to an unprecedented level of automation and optimization. In this article, we'll look closer at the opportunities of applying Artificial Intelligence in the Industrial Environment!



What is Artificial Intelligence?

Some people may feel that AI has jumped straight from science fiction movies to the present day, but this technology has been around for over 50 years. The term first appeared in 1956, when Professor John McCarthy described the goal of creating machines that could possess human-like intelligence.


This technology still raises many questions, so it's important to clarify what Artificial Intelligence is before jumping to any conclusions. This is a field of science that develops computer systems capable of performing tasks that require human intelligence. This includes learning, rationalizing, solving problems and making decisions.


AI uses complex algorithms to create systems that can process and interpret data and information, identify patterns, learn from past experiences and make decisions based on that data. The evolution of these algorithms enables AI to work ever more independently and quickly.



Artificial Intelligence in the Industrial Environment: Main Applications


In the industry, AI is the main ally in digitalization, supporting companies to analyze large volumes of data, optimize their production processes and increase efficiency. The application of AI in the manufacturing sector goes beyond process automation, involving the application of advanced algorithms to analyze data and extract valuable insights.


- Real-time production data: All machines, sensors and systems are constantly generating data which, when analyzed correctly, can reveal valuable patterns and trends. AI allows data to be read and analyzed correctly and quickly, in a way that would be almost "impossible" for humans due to the volume and complexity of the data.


- Process rectification and predictive maintenance: By analyzing valuable production data, AI makes it possible to identify the cause of any adversity that could impact production. In addition to identifying a process failure, AI allows you to be one step ahead and predict when a problem will occur: Predictive Maintenance. In this way, it's possible to predict the need for maintenance on some equipment, avoiding production stoppages. In practice, predictive maintenance focuses on damage prevention and failure predictability.




AI will be the major trend of the next few years, which will inevitably change the employment panorama. Many factory tasks will be replaced by machines, releasing human resources for more creative and strategic activities. According to the report "Industrial AI and AIoT Market Report 2021-2026" by IOT Analytics, the Industrial AI market will be worth around 80 billion euros by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 35% over 5 years (2021-26). Despite the sharp growth, the adoption of AI by industry is still slow, especially in Portugal and Europe. Many Portuguese industries are not yet digitized.


AI Opportunities in Industry 


As AI continues to evolve, the outlook for the industry is promising. Industry 5.0 aims to create a harmonious integration between artificial intelligence and human intelligence. In this way, a unique synergy can be built, driving innovation and making an industrial future more efficient, sustainable and connected.


AI will be essential for improving process management, bringing efficiency and significantly reducing costs. This increases companies' productivity, while improving their operational efficiency.


Collecting and analyzing large volumes of data promotes a more sustainable production. Therefore, AI allows for more effective management of resources, avoiding waste and reducing unnecessary consumption. In this way, and by evaluating the entire production chain, it is possible to manage transportation, storage and waste more efficiently, making it possible to reduce the environmental impact at all stages of production.




Artificial intelligence brings with it profound and inevitable transformations, and our challenge is to exploit this technology responsibly, ensuring that AI will continue to be an ally in creating a more efficient, ethical and innovative industrial future.


SEE ALSO: Digital Transformation Opportunities for Different Industries


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